Like a formal suit, a well-made barong can make one stand taller, look longer, and make the ladies turn their heads. At this year’s ABS-CBN Ball, the barong, considered the country's national dress for men, showcased great versatility, as well as the creativity and craftsmanship of the designers who make them. You could call some of them modern classics. Joshua Garcia and Enrique Gil looked all-grown-up and regal in their black tops. Heneral Luna star and Ang Probinsiyano villain John Arcilla wore a black Jeannie Goulborn which convinced us a handpainted barong can actually be a good thing. The very well-made barong jackets that Xian Lim and Arjo Atayde opted for looked so great in pictures they could start a trend. Jericho Rosales got away with a day barong for evening — by Gabbie Sarenas, which means its very pricey — just by being his stylish Jericho self. Finally, there's Richard Gutierrez who probably wore the most thoughtful piece that evening: an upcycled number made from four used piña barongs, one of which is from the actor's personal closet. The Joey Samson creation won Richard the Best Dressed Male of the Night. A bit of lesson for next year’s red carpet poses, however: putting your hands inside your trouser pockets destroys the silhouette of the barong, decreasing the pogi points. Should the starriest ball in the country do Filipiniana again in 2020, you guys have one year to figure out what to do with your hands.
Click on the arrows for slideshow
From left: Marco Gumabao in AJ Javier; Jake Cuenca in Francis Libiran
From left: Arjo Atayde in Suit It Up Manila; Richard Yap in Vin Orias
From left: Gerald Anderson in Joey Espiritu; John Arcilla in Jeannie Goulbourn
From left: Joshua Garcia in Philip Espiritu; Deither Ocampo in DIETHER by Merger
From left: Jericho Rosales’ embroidered barong by Gabbie Sarenas; Jin Macapagal in Philip Rodriguez
From left: Paulo Avelino in Suit It Up Manila; Richard Gutierrez in Joey Samson. Photo of Richard by Magic Liwanag for @metrodotstyle
From left: Carlo L. Katigbak by Paul Cabral; Mark Lopez in Paul Cabral
From left: Paolo Pineda in Jeannie Goulborn; Sam Milby in Francis Libiran
From left: Ben Wintle (with Iza Calzado) in Onesimus; Xian Lim (with Kim Chiu) in Nat Manilag
From left: Marvin Agustin (with Jolina Magdangal) in JC Buendia; Aljur Abrenica (with Kylie Padilla) Aljur Abrenica in AJ Javier.
You may also like:
Photographs by Chris Clemente and Gio Ramon